Due to Bhutan’s location and unique geographical and climatic variations, it is one of the world’s last remaining biodiversity hotspots. Bhutan pristine environment, with high rugged mountains and deep valleys, offers ecosystems that are both rich and diverse. Recognizing the importance of the environment, conservation of its rich biodiversity is one of the government’s development paradigms. The government has enacted a law that states we shall maintain at least 60% of its forest cover for all time. Today, approximately 72% of the total land area of Bhutan is under forest cover.
National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries
Each of Bhutan’s National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries are an essential part of the Bhutan Biological Conservation Complex a system of national parks, protected areas and forest corridors covering 60% of the country comprising of 10 national parks and sanctuaries. Each of these parks and sanctuaries has its own special character and are home to endangered animals, birds and plants.
Flora and Fauna
Nestled deep within the Himalayas, with over 72 % forest coverage and wide range of altitude and climate, Bhutan has rich and diverse flora and fauna. Bhutan is a treasure trove of biological diversity with an unparalleled richness of flora and fauna due to the varied attitudinal and climatic conditions present in the country. This fragile ecosystem has remained unspoiled due to the conservation efforts of the Bhutanese people and government. Bhutan is the perfect destination for enthusiastic horticulturalists as it contains more than 60%of the common plant species found in the Eastern Himalayas. It also boasts of approximately 46 species of Rhododendrons and over 300 types of medicinal plants. Junipers, Magnolias, Orchids, Blue Poppies (the national flower), Edelweiss, Gentian, various medicinal herbs, Daphne, Giant Rhubarb, Pine and Oak trees are among the plants commonly found.
The kingdom is also home to a wide variety of animals. At higher altitudes you will come across snow leopards, blue sheep, red pandas, takin, marmots and musk deer. Leopards, gorals, gray langurs, Himalayan black bears, red pandas, sambars, wild pigs and barking deer are found in the temperate zones. The tropical forests in the south are a haven for clouded leopards, elephants, one horned Rhinoceros, water buffalos, golden langurs, gaurs, swamp deer, hog deer, horn bills and many other species. Bhutan is home to the highest altitude inhabiting Tigers in the world and they are commonly found throughout the country.
Visitors can experience the magnificent flora and fauna of Bhutan through sightseeing tours or by embarking on treks and hikes through beautiful virgin forests, pristine Himalayan Mountains and across sparkling crystal clear rivers fed by ancient mountain glaciers. Roads in Bhutan pass through the rich forests so travelers can experience the majestic natural environments of Bhutan.